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Tome of Magic

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Tome of Magic (abbreviated ToM[1]) is a handbook of rules and guidelines for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. As its name implies, it is a supplement to be used to expand the magical options available in the game. It was first released for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, 2nd Edition, and the name was reused for a book released for the 3rd Edition of D&D.

2nd EditionEdit

The 2nd Edition Tome of Magic, published in 1991, was a book focused upon expanded options for members of the mage and cleric classes and their subclasses. It also introduced the concept of metamagic effects to D&D. The book was arranged in several sections, designed by David Cook, Nigel Findley, Anthony Herring, Christopher Kubasik, Carl Sargent, and Rick Swan. Cover art is by Jeff Easley,[2] with interior illustrations by Stephen Fabian, Brom, Clyde Caldwell, Carol Heyer, John and Laura Lakey, and Roger Loveless.

The first section presented new subclasses for the mage class, and new forms of spells and spellcasting for the cleric class, as well as several new spheres of divine magic. The mage subclasses were the wild mage and elementalist classes. The wild mage had the most in the way of new rules, including wild magic and wild surges, which result from his attempts to use magic in raw, barely-controllable forms. Elementalists had to devote themselves to one of the four classical elements, barring them from using spells employing their oppositional element (fire vs. water, or air vs. earth, for example), but gaining increased power in exchange.

The cleric class gained access to quest spells, spells of such immense power that a cleric must be granted such a spell directly by his or her god. These spells require the cleric to go upon a quest to gain the right to cast it once, or petition their god to grant the spell to deal with an immediate crisis. Such spells might be used to end a famine or cure a plague, or to wound or slay large groups of enemies. Several of these spells became 9th-level spells in the 3rd Edition of the game. Clerics also gained the ability to draw upon power generated by the faith and devotion of many to produce permanent spell effects at holy sites, to cast spells cooperatively with other priests, and several new spheres of magic (similar to the "schools" that wizards in D&D study).

The second section of the book presented many new spells for both clerics and wizards. Some of these spells were carried forward into 3rd Edition within the core rules, such as Abi-Dalzim's horrid wilting (with name changed to simply horrid wilting) and wail of the banshee. This is also the section that introduced metamagic effects, as spells that enhanced and augmented any spells cast while they were still in effect. In 3rd Edition, metamagic returned in the core rules through feats that enhanced spells cast using the feats.

The third and final section of the book was devoted to various new magic items, including several items that carried curses. These new items included the standard array of potions, rings, wands, worn items, and magic tools, but also introduced "aromatic oils," magic potions applied like perfume to produce their effect.

3rd EditionEdit

The title was reused for a 3.5 (Revised) Edition supplement published in 2006. The new Tome of Magic is devoted to new forms and styles of magic as a path to power. These new paths are embodied in three new alternate base classes.

The book is arranged into three sections, one for each of the new character classes and their unique take on magic.

  • Binder - Allows extra-planar souls to share his body and thus gains power. The vestiges names and seals are, for the most part, copies of the names of demons and their seals.
  • Shadowcaster - Manipulates shadow plane energy to create a variety of effects.
  • Truenamer - Caster that utilizes the power of truenames to create a variety of effects. This class has been criticized somewhat for being excessively skill dependent and thus not scaling well with increased level.

Each chapter includes several feats, prestige classes and monsters associated with that flavor of magic.


  1. "Dungeons & Dragons FAQ". Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on April 6, 2010. Retrieved October 3, 2008. 
  2. Varney, Allen (December 1998). "ProFiles: Jeff Easley". Dragon (Renton, Washington: Wizards of the Coast) (#254): 120. 

Additional readingEdit

  • Review: White Wolf #30 (1992)
  • "The Ties that Bind", Dragon #341


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